Wisdom and Initiation in Gabon: A Philosophical Analysis of Fang Tales, Myths, and Legends is a study of the philosophical significance of Fang mythology and the rituals of Initiation that lead to Wisdom. Bonaventure Mvé Ondo argues that Fang tales, myths, and legends are components of the foundation of a worldview that sustains and protects a unique, historical Fang identity. For Mvé Ondo, the contemporary challenges to the existence and identity of the Fang require, perhaps more than ever, recognition of the central role of mythology. At an historical moment when Africans are faced with the challenges of westernization, the metaphysics of the Fang, illustrated and preserved by tales, myths, and legends, is a critical element of Fang survival. Mythology is far more than a collection of amusing or awe inspiring stories, they are profoundly important moral lessons for the Fang in their continuing encounters with such contemporary challenges as materialism and, as the “stories” in this book illustrate, the constant struggle to live lives of purpose and meaning. For Mvé Ondo, the critical, central issue for the Fang is to focus on the distinction at the heart of his analysis, i.e., the crucial distinction between “to have” and to “to be.” The lessons transmitted from generation to generation by these marvelous stories are, Mvé Ondo argues, central to living lives that reflect and perpetuate the eternal truths of the Fang experience.
Published: RowmanLittlefield on
ISBN: 9780739181454
List price: $74.99
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